There are many benefits to eating healthy such as weight loss, increasing energy levels and lowering the risk of developing chronic health conditions. Eating a healthy diet can also improve memory loss and slow down the aging process. As we age, it is important to eat foods that boost your memory and help to prevent cognitive decline as well as reduce the risk of dementia.
The brain requires healthy fats, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and vitamins. When we do not consume enough of these foods and if our diet consists of processed foods, complex carbohydrates and sugar the body produces toxins which can lead to inflammation. Too much inflammation causes the build-up of plaques in the brain which can result in impaired cognitive function.
Here are some foods that can help boost memory for Seniors and the rest of us:
Leafy Greens Kale, spinach, romaine lettuce and cabbage deliver the daily amount of vitamin K that your body needs to boost memory and focus. They are also high in essential B vitamins like folate which can help reduce depression and boost cognition. Instead of just eating leafy greens in salads, add these vegetables to soups, stews, and even smoothies.
Berries Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cherries are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins that help reduce inflammation and help you maintain good brain health. Antioxidants reduce damage of toxic substances called free radicals in the brain, which is a major contributor to cognitive decline. Stress and inflammation contribute to reduced memory and overall brain function.
Fish Salmon and Tuna are just a few types of fish that have omega-3 fatty acids which are highly beneficial to the brain. Omega-3 provides more oxygen to the brain and allows us to retain new information while still remembering old information. Consuming omega-3’s can also lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Nuts Almonds, peanuts, cashews, and walnuts contain magnesium which is an essential mineral that helps to combat memory lapses associated with aging. They also have healthy fats, vitamin E, and vitamin B which play an important role in preventing cognitive decline and help fight against dementia. Nuts make for great snacks or add them into desserts to benefit from improved brain health.
Chocolate Not all chocolate is created equal but the kind with at least 70 percent cocoa reduces inflammation, boosts mood, and contains flavonoids that help memory. When you consume dark chocolate with higher cocoa content it can increase blood flow to the brain and potentially protect cognitive function and lower the risk of dementia.
Consuming the above listed foods are all great ways to support a healthy mind, it is also important to be mindful of foods that can contribute to memory loss. Generally, most processed meats and cheeses would be items to avoid or limit. It has been well documented that consuming high volumes of alcohol and beer can contribute towards brain disorders. Refined carbohydrates found in “white foods” such as white bread, pasta, white rice generally does not possess much fiber, vitamins and minerals which makes them “empty” calories. Artificial sweeteners, particularly Aspartame, should be avoided. Aspartame is regularly used in diet soda and has been linked to behavioral and cognitive issues.